Always someone to ruin the parade, NVIDIA's response to AMD's Southern Island news

Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2011 - 12:36 PM |
Tagged: southern islands, parade, nvidia, kepler, fermi, amd

As is common in the industry, when one company releases news their competitors have to do something to distract people.  Since in this case it was AMD's announcement of the Southern Islands release, it is NVIDIA who feels the need to hold a competing spectacle.  In this case it was news that their new Fermi based 28nm Kepler GPU has taped out ... maybe.  In this particular scenario we have an intentional leak from NVIDIA which was light on details and heavy on spin.  SemiAccurate takes a long look at some of NVIDIA's claims, from the doubling of transistors with no cost in TDP to the probable difference between Tesla branded Fermi and GeForce branded Fermi cards to NVIDIA's claims that switching from 40nm to 28nm is hard and that it is all TSMC's fault. 

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"When SemiAccurate announced that AMD (NYSE:AMD) was aiming for September with Southern Islands (SI), you could almost set your watch to the Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) response. If you are new to the PR game, you will probably scratch your head wondering what we mean by Nvidia response, officially there is silence, but there definitely was a response."

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Source: SemiAccurate

TSMC gets AMD's 28nm APU business

Subject: General Tech | June 17, 2011 - 02:24 PM |
Tagged: TSMC, southern islands, northern islands, llano, global foundries, arm, amd, 40nm, 32nm, 28nm

Back in April there was a kerfuffle in the news about a deal penned between AMD, Global Foundries and TSMC.  It is not worth repeating completely as you can follow the story by using the previous link, suffice to say that it did not indicate problems with the relationship between AMD and Global Foundries. 

The previous post was specifically about 40nm and 32nm process chips, however today we hear from DigiTimes that TSMC has scored a deal with AMD for the 28nm Southern Islands APUs of which we have seen much recently.  The 40nm Northern Islands GPUs will also be produced by TSMC.  That leaves a lot of production capabilities free at Global Foundries to work on ARM processors.  

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"AMD reportedly has completed the tape-out of its next-generation GPU, codenamed Southern Islands, on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC) 28nm process with High-k Metal Gate (HKMG) technology, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report. The chip is set to expected to enter mass produciton at the end of 2011.

TSMC will also be AMD's major foundry partner for the 28nm Krishna and Wichita accelerated processing units (APUs), with volume production set to begin in the first half of 2012, the report said.

TSMC reportedly contract manufactures the Ontario, Zacate and Desna APUs for AMD as well as the Northern Island family of GPUs. All of these use the foundry's 40nm process technology.

TSMC was quoted as saying in previous reports that it had begun equipment move-in for the phase one facility of a new 12-inch fab (Fab 15) with volume production of 28nm technology products slated for the fourth quarter of 2011. The foundry previously said it would begin moving equipment into the facility in June, with volume production expected to kick off in the first quarter of 2012."

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Source: DigiTimes

AMD's been having a very busy start to the year

Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2011 - 12:07 PM |
Tagged: southern islands, wichita, krishna, llano, amd

If DigiTimes sources are right and they usually are, you should have no trouble securing a Llano part when they are released in June/July. With an expected 3,000,000 parts headed out the door there will be plenty of APUs for everybody.  Even better news is that the 28nm Southern Island parts have been taped out which indicates very good things for that process technology and the chips it will produce.

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"AMD is ready to start selling its new Llano-based APUs as soon as June or July and has set a goal of shipping three million units in the third quarter of 2011, accounting for 40% of AMD's total CPU shipments in the quarter, according to sources from motherboard makers.

AMD responded by stating it does not comment on unannounced products.

AMD's better-than-expected APU shipments helped the company to achieve on-year growth of 98% and on-quarter growth of 36% for its first-quarter net profit, which reached US$510 million.

The sources pointed out that the AMD's APU platform's low price has helped it receive supports from many of AMD's partners and the company in the first quarter already shipped about three million Brazos-based CPUs with 50% of the shipments being used for notebook platform.

The sources pointed out that AMD's new Llano APU will have a great chance to raise AMD's share in CPU market from around 20% in 2010 to 30%.

Taiwan-based Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI) have all already prepared several different motherboard models designed specifically for Llano. Since AMD's APU offers a better price, but has a similar performance as Intel's same-grade products, the competition may trigger Intel to consider a price cut to counter, the sources noted.

In addition to Llano, AMD's 28nm products including Krishna- and Wichita-based APUs and Southern Island GPU are already under tape-out."

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Source: DigiTimes